£195,000-a-week Liverpool midfielder will be fit for the PL clash

The Merseyside giants star Thiago Alcantara could make his long-awaited come back to Liverpool’s matchday squad with Newcastle United on Wednesday night, though Joel Matip faces several weeks on the sidelines.

The Reds were held to a 1-1 draw on Sunday with West Brom and were dealt yet more bad injury news, with Joel hobbling out of the game and Naby Keita suffering a muscle injury beforehand.

In addition to long-time absentees like Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez, Reds have also been without Alcantara after he was on the receiving end of a rash challenge from Richarlison in the Merseyside derby.

Thiago returned to training earlier this month and has been stepping up his recovery, training with the first team over the Christmas period, and could now come back into the matchday squad.

Spain international has shown no adverse reaction since returning and the next step is to begin being gradually reintegrated into the first team, possibly beginning at St. James’ Park. But the matches come thick and fast over the coming weeks and the German manager could err on the side of caution, instead of bringing the 29-year-old player back against Southampton next Monday.

There was worse news for Joel, though, with Reds ready to once again be without a senior first-team centre-back for the foreseeable after he pulled up with a groin problem with West Brom.

The Merseyside giants are still awaiting a full diagnosis, but they are fearing the worst and expect the Spanish player to be sidelined for several weeks, though they do not intend to sign a new centre-back in the winter window despite their injury crisis at the back.